First, please check the latest news:
- Several actors from famous Turkish TV dramas are arrested in an anti-narcotic operation. Most of them were among dozens of artists who had actively supported the anti-government protests related toGezi Park in Istanbul.
- The founder and 39 members of Eksi Sozluk, the largest Internet forum in Turkey, will be on trial, after prosecutors indicted them on the grounds of “desecrating sacred values.” They are accused of insulting Islam and can be sentenced up to one year in prison. The founder and leading members had actively supported the protests, even distributed gas masks in Gezi Park.
- Audit teams of the Ministry of Finance accompanied by police raided nine provincial offices of three major energy-sector companies of Turkey’s largest group, Koc Holding. Consequently, the government cancelled a 1.5-million-euro-worth defence contract with Koc. Divan Hotel, which is owned by Koc, had opened its doors to Gezi protestors.
- Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK), the government-sanctioned body to supervise the national broadcast, fined four TV channels. These channels were among the few that broadcast the Gezi Park protests live.
- The government had already taken care of some key NGOs by curbing their influence with a unilateral decision that endangered the Turkish democracy. The most important one of these NGOs were vetoing the government’s development plan for Gezi Park and Taksim.
- And you don’t need to be a celebrity or a large institution to get punished, even if you had passively supported the Gezi Park protests. Just two examples: 1) At least 19 people, including an 86 years old woman from Antalya, were fined 5,000 dollars because they supported the protests by banging pots and pans. 2) A driver in Hatay was fined 50 dollars because he supported the protests by honking.
Famous artists, the leading members of the Internet community, the largest company, the most critical TV channels, key NGOs and ordinary people…
None of these Occupy Gezi supporters were criminals, but;
they are targeted, detained, fired from their jobs or arrested because of their political stance!!!
A petition has been started to support one of the targets’ after Gezi protests: An actor Memet Ali Alabora
Two weeks ago, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, got his millions of voters to boo and set up Memet Ali Alabora as a target. Alabora is an artist, a union president, and a citizen. In the meanwhile, Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek participated in a television program three days ago, in where he said referring to the same artist, “The state will catch Alabora with God’s permission, and I’ll see him behind bars.”
There is no historical precedent for the way in which an artist was specifically pointed out as a target.
All people have the right to express themselves, to create, write, act, and reflect their views in their work. Effort to frame these activities as crime is a direct assault on all our lives.
To stand united in the face of this language and hatred that finds its embodiment against not only Memet Ali, but all of us who are facing political oppressions all over the World.
The link to sign the petition: http://www.change.org/memetalialabora